Drawing Lessons with Winnie the Pooh’s Bruce Smith

I had absolutely no idea what we were in for when we stepped into the room where we met the supervising animator of Kanga, Roo, and Piglet. On each chair, we found an artist’s sketch pad and a black pencil. I remember thinking to myself, “oh no.” I took art classes in school, but I never showed any talent for drawing, painting, sculpting, or anything like that. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy drawing; I have quite the hilarious collection of princesses and dresses that I drew when I was younger.

If Bruce Smith weren’t an animator, I think he would have made a successful comedian. He was funny, easy going, and very entertaining during our short time with him. Bruce shared with us his background of growing up in South Central, and how it didn’t seem that many opportunities were open for African Americans. As a child, he literally spent hours in his room drawing and became quite talented at it. Watching him draw, I was amazed at how quickly and with such ease he could draw a nearly polished sketch of beloved Winnie the Pooh characters.

Under Bruce’s instruction, we each learned the steps taken to draw the characters of Piglet and Kanga. Here’s how mine turned out:

Smith also spoke of his admiration for some of the Disney Legends in the industry that he’s had the pleasure of working with. Based on his contributions to Disney, I think that one day Bruce will be a legend himself.
*Disney provided me with an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles to meet cast and crew of Winnie the Pooh. All thoughts are my own.*


Jen currently lives in Utah with her family, and enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. She is active on popular book websites including paperbackswap.com, Goodreads.com, and luxuryreading.com.

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